The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques

The Montgomery Park Playground Project

Posted by  //  September 25, 2016  //  Local Business

By Shana Karn, Owner of Shots by Shana Photography and The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques

I moved to the Village of Dryden in 1976. We owned a house on West Main St., complete with a white picket fence installed by and what, at the time, seemed like a huge backyard. Today, I went back through my childhood home—a complete “Alice in Wonderland” experience if ever there were one and nothing was nearly as big as it seemed to be when I was a child. The huge yard, where my childhood was spent playing with Barbie Dolls, twirling batons, playing kick-the-can and freeze tag— was not at all huge! At eight years old, the trip from the back door of the house to the tent which would house my brother, me and friends overnight was a “hike,” which had to be navigated carefully— the crab apple trees were a forest we had to battle our way though and the rocks in mom’s rock garden were the only safe way we had to cross the imaginary river filled with alligators. Today, standing there at the back door of my old house, a mere twenty feet from where many a tent was pitched throughout my childhood, I marveled at my memories and how incredibly large my small world had seemed.

Life was different in the 70’s and 80’s. We disappeared for hours on end— leaving the house at 8:00 in the morning and returning after dark. We collected spikes on the railroad tracks, played atop the peat moss bags at Agway and roller skated in the parking lot. We went swimming in the creek— with it’s snapping turtles and a rope swing. We didn’t have computers, Internet or cell phones. We had Big Wheels, POGO sticks, jump ropes and huffy bikes. Cartoons aired on Saturday mornings and Little House on the Prairie was on at 8:00 on Monday nights. We didn’t have a tv remote— we had a slider— it was attached to the television with a cord which was no longer than four feet. “The Park” was a couple of blocks away— and where we connected with friends for baseball, kickball, tag, kick the can, ice skating, basketball and tennis. We played for hours on the small wooden see-saw, the swings and the rusty metal slide. Our parents didn’t worry about us hanging out there- or, if they did, they never mentioned it. Montgomery Park was our childhood home away from home. If parents were looking for a child who failed to show up for dinner at 5:30pm, they started, and often ended, their search at the park.

The Park, like my childhood home, is much different than it is in my childhood memories but, none the less, it is a huge part of my memories. These days, the park is frequently quiet— the outdated playground, empty. I feel a huge sense of sadness for the inanimate swings and rickety slide that were once an important part of every imaginary game we played. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time at Montgomery Park as part of a group dedicated to the Montgomery Park Playground Project— a revitalization effort, a coordinated effort to breathe life back with colorful playground painting into a dying park. I am hopeful for The Park’s future— encouraged by the commitment to the rebuild project and motivated by the synergy of the group of volunteers.

However, we are far from finished. WE NEED YOUR HELP.

In addition to monetary donations (perhaps, you’ve seen the “Purchase a Picket” flyers all over town?), we NEED volunteers to help out with every aspect of the community build.

We have made signing up for the build easy! Simply visit and click the “Sign Up Now” button to volunteer for a task & shift that works for you! We need builders (skilled and unskilled), sign in table hosts, first aid monitors, child care dural helpers and safety captains! You can sign up for one day/one shift or multiple days/multiple shifts. At this time, we have approximately 30% of our slots filled— which means that 70% are awaiting volunteers.

Many people who grew up in Dryden are familiar with Montgomery Park and may share some of my same childhood memories— don’t you want to be part of the team that brings the park back to life? Let’s work together to make it a place children and families can safely enjoy again! Please visit the website and sign up today— so your children and grandchildren can build their own huge childhood memories at The Park!!!

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